Interchange Bench: Mount Compass prove they are top dogs

An entertaining round of football in the GSFL saw Mount Compass stake their claim on the 2021 premiership race, Encounter Bay manage a thrilling win and Victor Harbor secure their first win.

Elsewhere, Willunga continued their dominant run and Strathalbyn jumped a ladder position.

Beginning at Mount Compass, the Dogs had a solid win against reigning premiers Langhorne Creek. As the Interchange Bench predicted, this was an entertaining match and Compass had the form to get the job done.

The game opened at a cracking pace and Compass were the first to score a major, with Pinyon benefiting from a free kick.

Amid the tension, players such as Brokenshire, Mott, Heatley and Simons provided the drive for Compass, keeping the Creek at bay. This resulted in Johnston kicking Compass' second and the only other goal for the term.

Creek looked slightly off the pace, but Dominish and Lally were putting in honest efforts to keep them in the game. Compass continued to squeeze the most value out of slim offerings in the damp conditions in the second. Skrypek was busy around the packs, while Tonkin and Warren were pulling their weight for Creek.

Mott added another goal for Compass, before teammate Z. Vitkunas also struck truly from a long way out on a tight angle. Warren then kicked Creek's first goal to give the Hawks some hope, facing a four goal deficit at the main break.

Gaining early ascendancy in the third, Creek kicked the first goal through Warren, before Compass lifted to add two goals from Pinyon and Skrypek. While scoring opportunities favoured the Creek in the last quarter, Compass added three further majors courtesy of Pinyon and Ritter, thanks to the work-rate of Simons, Johnston and Grove.

Creek's goals came from O'Dea, Dalitz, Perrey and Howell, however Compass were just too good. Final scores 9.11-65 to 6.10-46.

Compass' best were: N. Mott, Z. Vitkunas, M. Skrypek, C. Grove and S. Heatley. For the Creek, T. Derham, M. Dominish, B. O'Dea, C. Perrey and T. Follett led the pack.

At Willunga, the Demons had a predictable win, but Goolwa/Port Elliot fought hard.

Beath kicked the home team's first goal, then Godwin-Knott and Priest combined to equalise for the visitors, before Beath snapped his second. Hoffman then burst into the game and kicked back-to-back goals.

It looked like Willunga would blow the visitors away, but they dug deep. Dunnran and Daniel Fry were impressive, while young Steven Clark showed skill and dash on his wing. Griffiths worked hard around the ground, but despite his efforts Bass kicked a goal late in the quarter.

Bass remained instrumental for Willunga, kicking the opening goal of the second quarter, before Beath followed it up with another.

For five minutes, both teams tussled over the ball, but the Demons broke the deadlock as Beath kicked another two quickfire goals. Fenton and Hunt won hard-ball-gets, while the lone Magpie ruckman competed strongly to feed the hard-working Prior, Lane and Hausser.

Willunga's young guns Nye and Coldwell made the most of their speed, while Hunt and Draper got involved, with the Demons securing a 10 goal lead at half time.

To Goolwa/Port Elliot's credit, this margin was only extended by three goals in the second half, with the Magpie defenders working hard to put pressure on in the third quarter.

Godwin-Knott and Griffiths played strong football and Jesse Bates won a free kick for the Magpies and kicked accurately. Haskett forced a ball forward for Warmington to gather and goal, before the hard-running Iwao got it straight back for the Magpies after combining with Cummings.

The final quarter ended in scrappy fashion, with Willunga securing the victory 15.19-109 to 5.11-41.

Best for the Demons were: C. Hutchens, B. Haskett, S. Beath, B. Cook and H. Mills. For Goolwa/Port Elliot, best were: Z. Bates, S. Dunn, A. Raikiwasa, B. Prior and T. Rigney.

At Victor Harbor, the Roos secured their first win of 2021, defeating Myponga/Sellicks. In damp conditions, the first quarter opened in scrappy fashion with each side fighting hard to score.

Both sides were chasing their first win and Victor opened slightly stronger, but missed a few kickable shots early. At the first break, there was only three points in it.

In the second quarter, Victor started to get on top and looked more dangerous up forward where S. Basham and Wade were keeping busy. Schubert and Boyd were in everything and received silver service from Guilhaus in the ruck.

The Mudlarks fought back and Vinall and Spinks looked to turn the scoreboard around, while S. Kennedy hit targets across the ground with ease. At half time, Victor were up by two straight kicks and looked like pulling away.

Early in the third, Myponga-Sellicks hit back and kicked two goals in quick succession to force the game into a deadlock. Victor only managed a goal for the term, while the Mudlarks kicked three.

Cock and Hedger were in everything for Pongy and S. Kennedy continued to switch the ball across half back, but the Mudlarks fell apart going forward and struggled to execute inside 50. This left Victor to pull away comfortably and earn a three goal win 12.9-81 to 9.4-58.

Down at McLaren, the match of the round took place when Encounter Bay snatched a win in the dying stages to get up by a point, 14.9-93 to 14.10-94. The visiting Bays were inaccurate in front of goal in the first term, letting the home side establish a four goal lead.

McLaren kept the pressure on in the second term, but the Bays fought back to kick five goals to three, with only three points separating the sides at half time. The third term was a high scoring affair, as both sides managed five goals and a couple of points to maintain a three point margin ahead of the final term.

The game was up for grabs and both sides fought on brilliantly, as the game balanced on a knifes edge. The Bays managed to get the job done in a thriller.

Mutton was brilliant up forward for McLaren all day, while Zohar, Fenoughty, and Ellis were among all the action. For the Bays, F. Tonkin, Davis-Neale, Pettitt, Fyfe and C. Tonkin were the side's best.

Meanwhile, Strathalbyn cruised to victory over Yankalilla, who remain depleted. Final scores: 12.7-79 to 24.10-154.

Brodie Martin was the star for the Roosters, booting 10 goals. Regular Strathalbyn performers M. Elliott, R. O'Grady and R. Clarke were among the bests again, supported by J. Kelsh and R. Clamp (4 goals).

For the home side, Harry Morgan stood out again to kick five goals alongside Braendler who managed four. Ben Gogel and Ker were brilliant.

Round 6 predictions

Willunga over Encounter Bay by 32 points.

Langhorne Creek over Victor Harbor by 46 points.

McLaren over Yankalilla by 48 points.

Myponga/Sellicks over Goolwa/Port Elliot by 6 points.

Mount Compass over Strathalbyn by 40 points.